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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard engaged in ‘mutual abuse’, therapist tells court

Laurel Anderson, a clinical psychotherapist who saw the pair on multiple occasions, gave evidence at a libel trial.

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Actor Johnny Depp returns to the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse after a break (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Actor Johnny Depp returns to the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse after a break (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Actor Johnny Depp returns to the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse after a break (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard engaged in “mutual abuse” throughout their relationship, a therapist for the couple has said.

Laurel Anderson, a clinical psychotherapist who saw the pair on multiple occasions, said Mr Depp told her that his former wife “gave as good as she got” during their fights.

The actor is suing Ms Heard for libel over a 2018 op-ed written in the Washington Post which his lawyers say contained false allegations that he physically and sexually assaulted her while they were married.

Giving evidence at the US trial on Thursday, Ms Anderson said Mr Depp struggled to keep up with Ms Heard’s “jackhammer style of talking” during their sessions.

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Actress Amber Heard talks to lawyer Elaine Bredehoft (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Actress Amber Heard talks to lawyer Elaine Bredehoft (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Actress Amber Heard talks to lawyer Elaine Bredehoft (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

“She was very amped up,” she told jurors at the Fairfax County District courthouse.

“This is how (Mr Depp) didn’t have a voice, he couldn’t keep up with her rapid-fire style of conversation.

“He had been well controlled for decades, with Ms Heard he was triggered and they engaged in what I saw as mutual abuse.”

Ms Anderson said that Ms Heard reported that she had been violent towards her former partner, saying it was a “point of pride” to initiate a fight if she felt “disrespected”.

“She felt she had to hit him back if he hit her so she always did,” she said.

“She loved him, he loved her… she wasn’t stupid, she knew what they were doing wasn’t healthy so she wanted to want to divorce him but she didn’t.”

The court previously heard testimony, via video, from Ms Heard’s former personal assistant Kate James who said the actress had sent her “barrages” of abusive text messages.

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Actor Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for libel (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Actor Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for libel (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Actor Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for libel (Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP)

Ms James, who worked for the actress from 2012 to 2015, said the verbal attacks often made “no sense” and that Ms Heard needed “someone to lash out at”.

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She was previously called to give evidence in Mr Depp’s 2020 trial in London, in which he sued the publisher of The Sun newspaper over an article that referred to him as a “wife-beater”.

The actor was refused permission to appeal the case at the Court Of Appeal after a judge found that the claims in the article were proved to be “substantially true”.

The court also heard brief testimony from Gina Deuters, the wife of Mr Depp’s former personal assistant Stephen Deuters.

Ms Deuters said she had seen multiple instances of Mr Depp taking illegal drugs and that Ms Heard and a friend had given her her “first taste” of MDMA.

But Ms Deuters was excused after around 30 minutes after she admitted to having watched clips of other witness testimonies earlier in the week.

Her own testimony was also struck from the record and jurors were ordered to discard it.

Proceedings will recommence on April 18.

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